No doubt aided by a build-up that took a few more months than expected, the iPhone 4S stormed out of the gate with a vengeance this past October as Apple sold over 4 million units in just the first weekend the device was on sale. Following that, CEO Tim Cook said during Apple’s October earnings conference call that the current holiday quarter will likely set an all-time sales record with respect to iPhone units. And for a company that notoriously tends to temper expectations, that prediction speaks volumes.
Also helping what will soon prove to be a blowout iPhone quarter is the fact that the device was available in a multitude of countries rather quickly. In previous iPhone launches, it would sometimes take months on end for the latest iPhone model to finally go on sale in certain countries.
And while iPhone 4S sales seem to be quite robust globally, there are a few pockets in Europe where, due to economic factors, it hasn’t been selling as briskly as Apple would like. At the very least, that’s what the data from the Kantar Worldpanel ComTech research firm shows.
The firm found that while the iPhone 4S is doing very well in Great Britain, the US, and Austrlia, Apple’s share of the smartphone market in other countries like France and Germany is slipping.
In part, the European sales of the expensive Apple model were hit by weakening economies across the continent.
Euro zone GDP grew just 0.2 percent in the third quarter and most economists expect it to contract in the fourth and also in the first three months of next year, sending the bloc back into recession after its two-year recovery from the worst global financial crisis since the 1930s.
The euro zone’s own crisis with government debt has scared off investment and eaten into business and consumer confidence, particularly since August when investors intensified their scrutiny of the bloc’s problems.
European consumers are keeping a lid on their expenses as government spending cuts and job losses deprive companies of demand for goods and crush exports.
And there to fill in the gap is Android, who with their wide selection of devices at varying pricepoints is having no problem increasing its marketshare in otherwise damp economic times.
Oddly enough, there may be more than economic factors in play here. For instance, the research firm found that Android in the last 3 months accounted for 61% of smartphone sales, with the decidedly not-cheap Samsung Galaxy S II checking in as the top selling handset.